I read Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, three times before I grasped the concept that there is no self. The first two times I just didn't understand what that meant, or I didn't want to understand. When I figured it out the meaning hit me like a wall in my mind crashing down on me. There is no self because self is a concept that is idle; it never moves. We are constantly changing and moving and breathing. There is nothing constant about us, even though we think there is.
Benjamin Franklin once said that the only thing certain is life is death and taxes. While that may be true change is also a certainty.
Reflecting on life I believe this concept, but I believe in more as well. I've tried to apply this idea of no self. It is most difficult. I've begun to realize that maybe if I was a monk, secluded from the world I could achieve this.
There are flaws to this plan however. Living a western, suburban life does not lend itself to this aspiration.
I think that it is more appropriate to include past characteristics and future aspirations in this way of thinking. Although these things do not exist, and never will, there is precious little time to come to terms with them.
There is no self, but I fear that apparitions from the past and fantasies of the future will always haunt my life.
Mosquitoes sting and leave welts. Next time we see one we're twice shy. The weatherman calls for rain and sun is out.
What's real and what's not is all a matter of what is happening now....And sometimes I don't even know that.